How are you supposed to feel when your parents tell you they have new jobs and you are moving across the country? The young boy in Hume's book feels lost. Moving from the only home you've ever known to a new one on the west coast, well, that makes you and your sympathetic dog very nervous. In fact, Gypsy wants to know, "How far is west? As far as the earth to the moon?" Throughout the long trip they take, with their belongings in their truck, they have many different experiences¾some good and some not so good¾but always the red moon follows them. After a particularly rough day on the road the boy's mom asks, "Know how the moon seems to follow the truck? Like the moon, our love is with you wherever you go." Sure enough, when he goes to bed the first night in his new home, the big red moon is shining in his window, lighting up the faces of a happy boy and his dog. Through the voice of the young boy, Hume's story is told simply and honestly. Watts' rich, egg-tempera illustrations go hand in hand with the warmth of the text. Careful examination will show she likes to include rabbits. Just try to find them all. 2001, Orca Book Publishers, $16.95. Ages 5 to 9. Reviewer: Barbara Kennedy
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This story is little more than a series of events about a boy and his parents who move across the country for new jobs. The child narrates as if he were explaining the relocation to his dog, Gypsy. The family packs up the truck and heads west, camping out along the way. One night a bat flies inside their tent. Another night it snows. Once, they even get to sleep in a hotel. At one campsite, Gypsy falls over a waterfall but climbs out safely. Finally, they reach the ocean and move into their new house. Watts's egg-tempera paintings add to the soft, gentle quietness of the story, but they don't always flow with it. When the dog disappears, the text tells readers that the boy almost cried. The picture shows tears streaming down his face. Throughout the story, rabbits appear in the stars, clouds, and woods, but the symbolism isn't explained. The moon is almost nonexistent in the art, yet its steadiness is supposed to signify the parents' love for their son. Additionally, there is no discernible catalyst that changes the boy's sadness at moving to being happy in the new home. Stick with Frank Asch's Goodbye House (Little Simon, 1989) and other moving stories that you already have on hand.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Leslie Elizabeth Watts has illustrated a number of acclaimed picture books, including It's Raining, It's Pouring, and On the Night of the Comet. Leslie works in egg tempera, an old technique that requires the mixing of dry pigments with egg yolk and water. She lives in Harriston, Ontario, with her daughter Emily, her son Stefan, and several pets.